NCSCE is pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Kashmanian Oates will serve as Scholar in Residence during her upcoming sabbatical. Eliza Reilly, executive director of NCSCE, commented, “Since becoming founding co-PI of the SENCER project in 2001, Karen Kashmanian Oates has been a highly visible national leader in science education. Through the development and evolution of her distinguished academic career as Associate Dean, Provost, Deputy Director at NSF, and most recently, as Dean of Arts and Sciences at WPI, Karen has served as an invaluable and energetic mentor, collaborator, advisor, and networker in the growing “community of transformation” that she helped establish. We are fortunate that she has agreed to take the role of ‘Scholar in Residence’ with the National Center during her sabbatical year.”
Karen Kashmanian Oates is a Professor of Arts and Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Before joining WPI as the Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences, Karen was the deputy director for undergraduate education at the National Science Foundation. She was also the founding provost at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, and Associate Dean for the College of Integrated and Interdisciplinary Studies at George Mason University. She received her BS in biology from Rochester Institute of Technology and her PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University. Karen conducts faculty development workshops on a variety of topics, including progressive pedagogical approaches to support learning, assessment strategies, and discovery-based undergraduate research, as well as using research on how people learn to inform curricular design. She has served as a Eurasia Specialist with USAID/HED (Higher Education for Development) and participated routinely in global research and education initiatives. In recognition of their founding of SENCER, Karen and Wm. David Burns received the 2008 Bruce Albert Award for excellence in science education.
For the past several years, Karen has served as Co-Director for the New England SENCER Center for Innovation, which is hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She has led extensive dissemination efforts in the region, including the growing workshops around water innovation. Additionally, she has served as an ambassador of the SENCER approach around the United States and internationally through invited speaking and workshop opportunities. At the 2017 SENCER Summer Institute, Karen was part of a plenary panel on the origins and development of Communities of Transformation in undergraduate STEM reform.
Photograph courtesy of Karen Kashmanian Oates